Musk tanks TSLA 10% to pay his taxes, then pauses to malign a US Senator

He’s ruining my interest in astronomy. I want a space news source where there is no discussion of what the billionaires are up to. Call it the Space Commons or something, I just want to hear about what we have learned today/this week/this month.


Today I learned that in the USA your broker can choose exactly which stock you sell.

In my country the tax office goes strictly by FIFO with no ifs or buts.

  • SpaceX exists because the US government was convinced that it made more sense to pay billions of dollars to private contractors than to give NASA the funding it would need to do everything themselves.
  • One of SpaceX’s great “accomplishments” was sending a bunch of rich fuckers on perhaps the highest-carbon-footprint day trip in history.
  • Anything good that came from SpaceX could have come from another aerospace company with similar resources.
  • Elon Mush wants to start a Mars colony where he’d have absolute rule over a planet of subjects working to make him even richer.

Screw Musk and screw SpaceX.


Pay your taxes Mr. Elon Chud.


Also, there were a ton of plans for eventually going back to the moon and then possibly to mars with a manned mission since the Obama administration… But it’s not William Shatner on dick rocket, so… :roll_eyes:


I also have it on pretty good authority that they basically gutted the work force for NASA by luring away talented engineers.


That’s exactly what this article is about: Musk selling stocks to get cash to pay taxes. Oddly enough, it is written in a way that makes even this look bad.


I’m sure he had no other cash on hand, no other asset to move, could not have planned ahead, and has absolutely no other tax avoidance tactics to minimize his tax burden. (Like say a loss to a large fall in stock price).

The only possible solution was to handle it publicly in a way that heavily impacted the stock valuation, then taunt US Senators about it.

YUP. Normal. Not a guy who’s been penalized for manipulating stocks before, definitely didn’t shift to Crypto after getting in trouble with regulated vehicles.

He had to! And look what it did to STOCKS!


Some dudes be all like:




As I understand it Musk doesn’t have a few billion lying around in cash, but has most of his money locked up in stock. Planning ahead would just have meant selling stocks earlier, and then people would have complained about that too.

When an insider like Musk sells stock he has to disclose it. The law says he can do it after the sale, which would have been beneficial to him as he could then have sold before the drop (well, sellign that much would drive down the value in any case). Announcing in advance gave small investors time to sell their stock first, before Musk, and probably cost him a bunch of millions.

Taunting people is just what Musk does. Apparently it works given the value of Tesla stock. With a competent but boring boss it wouldn’t be worth nearly as much. Crazy, but that’s how modern capitalism works.


I’m sure he had no other cash on hand, no other asset to move, could not have planned ahead , and has absolutely no other tax avoidance tactics to minimize his tax burden.

You’d be mostly correct. Elon sold off / otherwise got rid of a large # of his assets a number of years ago, and these days is mostly rich “on paper”. So it’s no surprise to me that he had to sell off stock to pay taxes (correction: sell off stock that was expiring, that he then had to pay taxes on). Yes, he could’ve planned ahead … which would’ve involved selling off stock anyhow - although he could’ve done so over a longer period of time which would’ve buffered the hit on Tesla’s stock, but also might’ve looked like he was losing faith in his own company. So… shrug I probably would’ve done the same in his place, minus the advertising it all over Twitter thing.

Then again, I’m not likely to have Big Money “problems” anytime soon … thankfully.

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He had to sell as he had stock options coming due that he needed to exercise. Which would be taxable as they were compensation.


Stock options, or at least these stock options, are a right to buy stock at a fixed price. In this case one much, much lower than it’s current price.

So planning ahead would have meant exercising the stock options at a lower valuation, and paying tax on the gains at that time. But that would also have meant paying taxes on the gains since.

The very fact that the options went unused this long is deliberate, and likely an attempt to avoid taxes while maximizing the gains. It didn’t have to be a few billion, didn’t have to be a few billion at once, and it isn’t like he didn’t know this was coming. He could have handled this over time, he could have laid in enough liquidity to cover it at any point in the past.

Another option would have been to just let them expire. He doesn’t have to buy the stock. But much of his personal wealth is wrapped up in that disparity between the $6.24/share options he had, and the current stock price.

Having to disclose it is not the same as running public polls on whether you should (if he had to why even do that?), creating extensive lead up. And taunting public officials about it.

How often do you hear about this happening at all? How often do CEOs and billionaires force their stock positions into a public circus?

Good thing he didn’t spend a good while building the move up, publicly hedging and belly aching before he sold then!

Otherwise he might have owed even more.

Well I guess that’s alright then. Much worse to call an asshole an asshole than to be an asshole.

I’d be willing to bet you would not. This is an incredibly stupid way to handle these kind of stock options, and tax planning in general.


Announcing the sale beforehand pretty much proves this theory to be the most likely one.


I’d be willing to bet you would not. This is an incredibly stupid way to handle these kind of stock options, and tax planning in general.

LOL thanks for the vote of confidence, but there’s a reason my alias is “drfyzziks” and not “drfinance”. As I said though, thankfully I doubt I’ll ever be in the position to find out that I did it the wrong way.

Well. I’m pretty sure that the customer service line at Turbo Tax could tell you “don’t do that”.

If you have billions in gains all at once. You’re gonna owe billions in taxes all at once. It’s as simple as that.

Guy had a decade to avoid that. A decade to handle it better. And he still would have made billions off the stock.

But he would have made very slightly less on paper, and would have been paying tax along the way.


At least this illustrates the fiction of valuing large amounts of stock at the price of the last lot traded. The very wealthy aren’t quite as wealthy as the numbers seem.


I’ve seen this mentioned elsewhere in a couple places, but these stock sales were already planned back in September according to the paperwork… so Musk is simply taking an opportunity to be an utter goon. There are probably additional sales coming, which is why he’s “threatening” to sell more.


That is pure, refined, copper bottomed bullshit.

He was making a luxury status symbol. Others were making cars people could buy. What he did do was make capital take it seriously. That amount of money thrown at something has consequences.

He? He is just as much of a useless piece of self aggrandising shit as he seems to be. He bought the car company and made them have an NDA on him not being the “founder”, calls himself an engineer etc.


What good is “merit” if you can’t pass it on to your kids :face_with_monocle: